UFC Daily Fantasy Helper: UFC Long Island
The Ultimate Fighting Championship holds no short of a dozen mixed martial arts bouts nearly every Saturday with no real offseason. As one of the most unique DFS sweats available, UFC daily fantasy is live on FanDuel.
The strategy behind this fantasy sport is intriguing. Given that two fighters face off against each other, and some fights end in seconds, choosing which side to back is crucial, and there is a wide range of outcomes. However, getting the winner fighter isn't all that matters. They've also got to land enough strikes, takedowns, or submission attempts to score points, too!
numberFire is always the best spot to get you ready for any UFC card. If you would rather bet on the fights, our betting guide is great for finding value on Saturday's card. In addition to this primer, I also dove deeper into the slate on this week's UFC edition of The Heat Check Daily Fantasy Podcast.
Without further delay, let's break down UFC Long Island: Ortega vs. Rodriguez, taking place at the UBS Arena in Elmont, New York this weekend.
This weekend's first card in Elmont has plenty of alternatives, but among them, Shane Burgos ($19) still stands out as the clear top option.
Burgos and opponent Charles Jourdain ($12) combine for just 0.24 takedowns per 15 minutes historically. Translation: this one is a striking match. In striking matches, Burgos has been a god of war. He averages a card-best 7.95 significant strikes per minute, but it's also come on an efficient 52% accuracy.
Burgos' propensity to throw down hasn't come at the expense of his technique (57% striking defense), and he'll have a six-inch edge in reach. Burgos' +1.26 striking success rate is just that much better than Jourdain's (+1.07) to accept him as the rightful -186 favorite.
From there, Amanda Lemos ($23) makes the most sense as the largest favorite on the card. Lemos actually impressed in her first-round loss to Jessica Andrade by avoiding the wrestling advances of the former champion. It was an unprecedented submission that ended her evening.
There's no questioning Lemos' offense. She lands 5.14 significant strikes per minute on razor-sharp 57% accuracy. Her usual drawback is her striking defense (48%), but relative to her opponent Michelle Waterson's mark of 50%, it's barely even a disadvantage. Waterson will need to penetrate Lemos' 88% takedown defense when Andrade couldn't. Good luck to her.
The two other considerations are Su Mudaerji ($22) and Brian Ortega ($21).
Su Mudaerji is a -295 favorite in a fight that's also got 61.2% implied odds not to see its full distance, so he makes plenty of sense.
On the other hand, Ortega will have five rounds to work in the main event against Yair Rodriguez ($16), and "T-City" has shown the ability to grapple at a championship level (1.20 submission attempts per 15 minutes). Yair's 60% takedown defense doesn't provide a great prognosis against a fighter that nearly submitted the division's champ.
Other High-Salaried Fighters
There is a clear gap between those four favorites to the rest in daily fantasy.
Miesha Tate ($21) has seen the line balloon in her favor this week, and she now sits as a -220 favorite over the benign Lauren Murphy. The problem is Tate has historically failed to rack up fantasy points without a finish (2.71 FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses), and this fight is also -300 to go the distance.
Scoring potential is also a concern for Muslim Salikhov ($18) as a -186 favorite in a solid spot against Li Jingliang. Salikhov's pace is even slower (2.33 FanDuel points per minute excluding bonuses), so he'll need to channel the pair of knockouts he has in UFC to be fantasy-relevant.
Bill Algeo ($20) has no pace issues, posting 5.88 significant strikes per minute historically. His issue is a 55% takedown defense that Herbert Burns ($10) can absolutely exploit. While Algeo is far more likely to post fantasy points, his day could also be over early if Burns can work his way in position for a third UFC submission in five tries.
The last favorite I'd straight pick to win is Emily Ducote ($16), but the debutant's fight also has uninspiring 62.1% implied odds to go the entire distance.
The best value plays may very well be a pair of projected losers in the aforementioned fights.
Charles Jourdain averages 5.60 significant strikes landed per minute himself, and he's never been knocked out in 16 pro fights. Jourdain will be around to score points in that war, too.
Yair Rodriguez is a bit sketchier given his wrestling issues, but if his takedown defense holds, he's arguably the favorite to win outright. Opponents have dumped a combined 566 significant strikes onto Brian Ortega's body in his last three bouts. "T-City" just doesn't pay much mind to defense on the feet, and Yair's +0.56 striking success rate shows competency there.
My favorite win pick of the underdog range is Dustin Stoltzfus ($14). Stoltzfus' schedule in UFC thus far has been brutal. He's faced submission legends Kyle Daukaus, Gerald Meerschaert, and Rodolfo Vieira in three fights, and those three have a combined eight wins since the COVID break.
Stoltzfus is taking a huge step back to Dwight Grant this weekend. Grant's 68% takedown defense is mediocre, and he's never attempted a UFC submission. At long last, the grappler might have the edge in the domain that earned him this roster spot.
Ricky Simon ($13) also has a gigantic experience advantage as the underdog to undefeated prospect Jack Shore. Simon's volume wrestling (6.76 takedowns per 15 minutes) has been too much for Merab Dvalishvili and former title challenger Ray Borg, so Shore could be overwhelmed here. Either way, Simon should pile up a few takedowns as he always does.
Wrestling should also give the edge to Da Un Jung ($15) over kickboxer Dustin Jacoby, who has scuffled to just a 58% takedown defense since transitioning to UFC.